Monthly Archives: September 2012

Nina Kiriki Hoffman, The Shining Cities anthology, and other things

Part of my happy distraction this last week has been taking a break from the heavier reading and picking up two books by local-to-me writer Nina Kiriki Hoffman. I’ve read one other of her books, Spirits that Walk in Shadow. This week I read both Thresholds and Meeting, the first two books in her Magic Nextdoor series. Reading these books, I realize all over again that I really, really love her writing. I especially love when the distinction between SF and fantasy is so fluid. I need to find more of her stuff.

In other news, I’m pleased to announce that The Shining Cities: an anthology of pagan science fiction has been released! This is a nice, hefty collection, over three hundred pages, with some pretty amazing stories. Yes, I’m biased: I’ve got a piece in the book, too! But as we all know, being biased doesn’t make one wrong. The cover art for the book is also gorgeous. I haven’t read the whole thing yet — I’m reading it slowly, at home, so as to not bang up my copy, though I’ll likely get a nifty Kindle edition (let’s hear it for publishers putting their stuff on Kindle! I wish more of the Bibliotecha Alexandrina titles were available on Kindle) for ease of reading, and once it’s read, I’ll be tossing up an (unbiased, I swear!) review.

In other, other news, my grandmother is in the hospital, and I’m waiting to hear more.

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Beth!!

Life happens

So far, September has been a spectacularly awful month. I say that, but the only bad thing that’s happened has been our Princess passing away. Of course, I say “only”, but what I mean by that is: utterly devastating.

I did start a new story, that I haven’t touched since she passed. I talk, repeatedly, about people who can write as a form of therapy and coping when life falls apart — I’m thinking specifically of Catherynne M. Valente and, new to my awareness, Wendy C. Allen (who, in fairness, may not keep writing when life falls apart, but considering the amount that she’s written, I can only guess that she does), not because I think they’re the only ones who manage to, just because at, not even four AM after a few hours of tornado-brain-induced insomnia, they’re the two on the top of my head. I envy that ability. I used to have that ability. And I guess, if I wanted to, I could push myself to keep writing anyway.

Except I’m not the least bit interested in having my writing become associated with anything negative. I don’t know when it moved from being a coping skill method to not, and I don’t know that I like that, but I do know that when I’m feeling this pulled apart (which I do right now. It’s not just Princess’s having died; it’s my grandfather having died a few scant months ago, and the fifth anniversary of Angel having died, and coming upon the anniversary of my uncle having died, and the depression, which is usually low-grade and constant and dependable in a yawning pit of exhaustion.) the idea of writing makes me want to weep, to curl up around myself, and keep all the vulnerable bits contained.

So, not judging, and letting it be whatever it is. And reading. And knitting. And baking.

I am, despite that, excited for the new collection projected. One story in, three waiting to be told, and more shaping up. Maybe once I start just letting myself write without trying to fit into any one category, it’ll become a positive coping method again?

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Juli! (um. It’s a guest post today!)

Today I’m happy to hand the reigns over to Juli D. Revezzo so that she can talk to us a bit about stereotypes within genres. In Romance, Alpha males are incredible popular, especially with the resurgence of vampires and werewolves, where every male you stumble over is an alpha. But, they’re not the only possibility, and it’s high time writers remember that. With that in mind, take it away, Juli!

Writing and stereotypes

In the animal kingdom, there are alphas; we think primarily of the alpha male ape that leads the pack and runs off anyone who tries to take over.

Or the alpha in a wolf pack. Or of koalas.

“Koala Visit” by Michelle Meiklejohn/freedigitalphotos.net

A lot of the time this bleeds over to the “typing” of humans. How often do you hear about the alpha male in this subject or jobs fitted to alpha males, or the incredibly overrated yet for some reason popular “alpha male character type” in romance novels?

Too much, sometimes, wouldn’t you say?

Maybe it comes from the patriarchal religions we’re surrounded by. My prototype, when I sat down to write The Artist’s Inheritance went strictly matriarchal, with its Celtic gods. So, I felt it refreshing to pull the ole switcheroo this time out. 😉 My heroine, Caitlin watches her sweet, gentle artist hubby go slowly off the deep end and with no one she can really turn to, who else is going to fight the gods and a crazy imp to save him?

Think that’s a weird concept? Go back to nature and take a look. You’ll see the mama bears growl as loud–or louder–than the males, when the family’s in jeopardy. My Caitlin doesn’t defer to anyone in such matters. When she sees a threat to her family, she does what she can. Just like the women of the Celts on who I based this family’s history, who would pick up a sword right alongside the men, who were empowered to own property and have their say in the ancient courts, unlike any other society. Caitlin is like them, and personally, I think she’s rather, well, normal. She isn’t the whiny, bitchy, fight with all and sundry type of character so prevalent in current urban fantasy fiction, no. She’s kind to all. But hurt her family, and look out! Your roast is toasted! >;)
And she does it quite well too, in my opinion. In fact, I think I’d want someone like Caitlin and her friends Beryl, Heather, and Sealya in my corner, were it come down to a fight with ornery Otherworldly Creatures. Wouldn’t you?

So, what about it? What do you think about sex-based stereotypes in fiction these days? Or stereotyping in fiction in general? Need it still apply, you think? Or (especially in this post-ERA world) has its time come and long gone?

Meanwhile, I hope you like The Artist’s Inheritance. Want to know a little more about the book? Here’s the synopsis:

Settling into their new home in Gulf Breeze, Florida, Caitlin finds strange changes coming over her husband Trevor. He seems obsessed with a beautiful chair he’s carving.

When the nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking–she knows something’s not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It’s the damned chair, she’s sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces–the forces she suspects drove Trevor’s siblings to insanity and suicide?

Before the same happens to Trevor, Caitlin must convince him to sell his art. But armed with only a handful of allies, and little experience of the supernatural, she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she succeeds, she will break the ancestral curse. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.

The Artist’s Inheritance is available at: Amazon and Smashwords, and coming soon in paperback to CreateSpace!

About Juli D. Revezzo

Juli D. Revezzo has long been in love with writing, a love built by devouring everything from the Arthurian legends, to the works of Michael Moorcock, and the classics and has a soft spot for classic the “Goths” of the 19th century, in love of which she received a Bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of South Florida. Her short fiction has been published in Dark Things II: Cat Crimes, The Scribing Ibis, Eternal Haunted Summer, Twisted Dreams Magazine and Luna Station Quarterly. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Tampa Area Romance Authors, and the special interest RWA chapter Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal. The Artist’s Inheritance is her first novel.

Find Juli at her home page Juli D. Revezzo

At Twitter: julidrevezzo

On Facebook: JD-Revezzo

On Google+: here and at GoodReads here

Thanks, Jolene for letting me be here, and letting me talk about this *ahem* controversial subject.

~*~*~*~

You’re welcome, Juli! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. And thank you, readers, for taking the time to read Juli’s post. Be sure to follow those links and check out her work. You can find some available online for free, even, over at Eternal Haunted Summer. (Which you should check out anyway; it’s good stuff!) But, go: check out the trailer. Check out her new book, and don’t forget to weigh in on your opinion! What are your least liked stereotypes in the genre of your choice?

Lookit! I have a guest blog spot!

In your free time today, go check out Patty Henderson’s awesome blog <a href="http://thehendersonfiles.blogspot.com and read my post! Not only is Patty a great story teller (whose books you need to check out if you haven’t already, and enjoy gothic mysteries) but she does wonderful things on her blog to help promote indy published folks. Yay for indy publishing!

While you’re at it, and if you haven’t already, stop on by When The Hills Come Courting and give that story a read. 😉

New Yarn Spam!!

I’m excited to announce that Beth has launched a new line of yarn: Venom Yarns: Fiber with a Bad Attitude! Here’s what she has to say about this new and exciting line:

In contrast to the somewhat more positive spin of my mythologically inspired and plant dyed yarns, Venom Yarns are 100% bad attitude and proud of it, with names like Toxic Kool Aid, Sharkbait, and Rotten Apple. They are handspun by me using only the finest farm-fresh fibers, and their gorgeous color ways are hand dyed using low impact professional acid dyes and the occasionally packet of drink mix–meaning they are NOT toxic to the environment. Come take a bite; you know you want to!

You certainly *do* want to! Beth’s handspun, hand-dyed yarns are wonderful to hold, to snuggle, to claim as your own . . . and believe me, I want to claim them ALL as my own! Her command of color is breath-taking. So, go and take that bite; you won’t be sorry!